Bell To Allow HSPA Devices To Be Unlocked

MobileSyrup reports that Bell will allow unlocking of HSPA devices when it launches the network in November.  In order to unlock, customers must have an active account older than 30 days, still be responsible for their contract, and pay a one-time fee.


  1. Telus has specifically excluded this in their new terms
    Their new terms that took effect Oct. 1 (resulting in my complaint under the new CWTA Code of Conduct) specifically exclude this. Just another reason to choose someone other than Telus, I guess.

  2. Vincent Clement says:

    Perhaps if Bell didn’t charge $2.99 a minute to make a call in Europe, people wouldn’t be so quick to unlock their cellphones. The cost of most phone calls (cell or landline, local or long distance) should be near zero cents today. Bell’s $51.20/MB rate for data is a winner too – how they can charge that much is beyond me.

  3. nice try Bell
    …or you can unlock your phone for free whenever you want since it’s your property. Better yet, don’t buy some locked-down defective phone on a ridiculously expensive installment plan from a telco.

  4. … or you could just unlock your phone whenever you want for free since it’s your property. Better yet, don’t buy a locked-down defective phone from your telco on a rip-off monthly financing plan.

  5. The unlock fee is the killer
    rumors suggest the unlock fee is as high as $250. ouch.

  6. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    whose property is it anyway?
    What I want to know is when the rules of ownership changed. When I was a kid I switched Barbie heads all the time. If I wanted to break something I owned it was between me and my parents and the government or the manufacturer had no say in the matter. When I was a kid, if I bought a transistor radio I could take it apart if I wanted to. I could even take parts of two different radios and build a whole new one out of the bits without having to fear the RCMP would arrive at my doorstep.

    Selling a piece of equipment that has been deliberately crippled should not be legal. Yet that’s what all the Canadian cel phone companies seem to do. We almost bought the Bell Mobility phones a few years ago but the cripple-ware was insane. So we tried the Telus ones, mostly for the GPS. In practice the GPS only worked about 25% of the time but we were sure charged enough for it. (The three times we actually needed it it didn’t work.) And the hours spent trying to get the problem fixed or credits.

    When did consumers lose our rights?

    We need Industry Canada to crack down on manufacturers who are taking advantage of consumers through DRM. I would think that Canadian consumers should have at least as much consideration under Canadian Law as big corporations.

  7. great…?
    So they will sell you a crippled phone… hook you into a X-year contract… and then CHARGE YOU MORE to un-cripple it?

    In what world is this acceptable behavior for a corporation? Or anyone for that matter?

    I think I’ll put a new lock on my car door that has a different key than the ignition, then sell it to some poor sucker… and then charge him an additional fee to unlock the doors.

    Absurd? Thats basically what Bell will be doing.

  8. Vincent Clement says:

    I just unlocked my Tour for under $19. The unlock code was on sale plus I had a 50% discount. Something tells me that Bell Canada won’t be selling unlock codes for $19. In fact, they’ll probably require you to come into a store so you can get charged both by Bell Mobility and the store (like the hardware upgrade fee, er, fees).

  9. It’s a small step, to be sure, but it’s in the right direction
    Much as I side with most of the upset comments above, this is still a big step in the right direction. Look at that announcment – they are admmitting that there is a difference between locked and unlocked, that they sell one way and not the other, that phones can be changed, and that they can do it.

    Prices can be changed – corporate attitudes are way tougher. This one step will be a great talking point when you are speaking to Rogers or Telus.

    If they take one final step and offer device-less plans, then we can finally start to have a real market in devices, and not be bound by the carriers idea of what we should use on their network.

    This is a big dose of transparency, and long overdue.

  10. A step in the right direction…
    sure. Be nice to see if Rogers ever starts to unlock phones again. They used to, prior to getting roaming agreements with a number of providers. Once they got that, however, they got dollar signs in their eyes and started to refuse to unlock (for instance PAYG roaming US $2 per min, UK $2.50 per minute, Carribean $4 per minute).